Carshare & Save Big $$$

Nov 16, 2011 by

I’m a Director with a carsharing cooperative, and I helped plan and launch HOURCAR carsharing in Minnesota. No, I’m not communist. I just think carsharing is a win-win-win for carsharers, the community, and the environment, comrade.

What is Carsharing?

It’s a flawed analogy, but carsharing’s a bit like short term, self-service car rental. You join a carsharing organization (CSO) to gain access to its fleet of cars. Carsharers use a car for as little as an hour. You book a car on-line, drive it during your reserved time slot, and pay by the hour & mile. The CSO pays for gas & insurance and keeps the cars maintained and clean. You get the benefits of vehicle transportation when needed but none of the hassles of car ownership.

Owning a Car May Cost More Than You Realize

The money benefit of carsharing is clear: If you stop owning a car and carshare instead, you’ll save a bundle, unless you drive a lot of miles. According to AAA’s 2011 “Your Driving Costs,” the average annual cost to own and operate a sedan driven 15,000 miles is a wallet-busting $8,776—over 24 bucks every day!

Many capitalist households own one car for each driver. Some could slash their expenses by selling a car and instead using a local CSO vehicle when everyone wants a car.

If you don’t need a car to commute, you could save loads of cash by getting out of the car ownership gig altogether (and really stick it to ‘the man’!). Combine carsharing with transit, walking, biking, taxis, and conventional car rental to save money, reduce your environmental footprint, simplify your life, improve your fitness, and have more fun!

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